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Stjórnarfoss

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 16 February 2021 in Landscape & Rural.

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Another little gem from Iceland, just off the main highway and one that does not seem to be visited quite as often as other landmarks. When we stopped there in autumn 2019, there was no one in sight. The waterfall is called Stjórnarfoss and it can be found in the south near the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, if you can pronounce it (I cannot). This is a little further west along Route One and taken on the same day as the previous photo.

It is one more of those places that is very much hidden in plain sight. We visited this town on a couple of occasions to see other things and only discovered during our last trip that there are some cool waterfalls around in the area. We set enough time aside during our drive to be able to stop and explore some of them and Stjórnarfoss was the first one. It can actually be seen from one of the side roads and it is only a short walk to the waterfall.

There are not too many different angles from which you can photograph the falls. You can walk on each side of the stream or get into the stream if that was something one was into. The main consideration for me was how close I wanted to get to the falls and how much foreground/background to include. One obvious option was to focus closer on the actual waterfall and make it large in the frame but I chose to work with the surroundings as well. There was also a change from greenish tones to more autumnal yellow/orange as well, as we travelled along the south coast, which can be seen here (and in the previous photo). The autumn colours looked really good in between the rocks and I loved the shapes and forms of the cliffs so I wanted to show the waterfall in their context in this photo. I really like the balance here between the rising cliffs, their forms and the waterfall. The river leads in before the waterfall catches attention but it then leads you up towards the cliffs to have a look further.

The overcast weather was just right for me in terms of daytime waterfall photography. It eliminated harsh highlights that would have formed over the water streaks. I kept the shutter speed at a level where the streaks would also not get too washed out and there was nice texture to them. This was may be not as important as when photographing a closer view of the falls but I wanted to keep the water exposure under control as much as possible.

Not sure if you have noticed, but recently I have been picking out some photos from our last trip that we took at less known locations and ones that also show the kind of sculpted beauty of Icelandic landscape that I like the most. The last four photos, including today's, each concentrated on different textured landscapes that we found along the way. I just love these shapes of the hills, cliffs and mountains, created over the centuries by rough weather and volcanic activity. I kept the processing very similar in these photos to convey a similar story with different details. I hope you enjoy my visions and interpretations of Iceland as well.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 5/2 seconds F/11.0 ISO 50 70 mm

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